We made the first vintage of Lillian in 2004, during the seventh of Maggie's eight years of training in the cellar at Sine Qua Non. The opportunity presented itself for us to make wine from a small portion of the top of the White Hawk Vineyard. We bottled 150 cases in the inaugural vintage. Since that time, the project has grown in tiny increments, most notably by sourcing additional fruit from Stolpman and Bien Nacido beginning with the 2007 vintage.
Bien Nacido Vineyard is a large, historic vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley. This valley has the most extended growing season of any California wine region, with bud-break as early as February and harvest as late as mid-December. Bien Nacido is far cooler than Stopman or White Hawk and it is evident in the wines. This is more Northern Rhone-esque in its flavors; It's all about smoke, olives, lavender and crazy salt-inflected oceanic aromas. This is always the lowest in sugars, highest in acidity and tannin and most vin-de-garde.
White Hawk Vineyard is a 60-acre vineyard just outside of Los Alamos, CA. Our 6.5 acres at the top of the vineyard is a sand dune, literally pure sand. The site is mid-ripening. It's warmer than Bien Nacido but because of its elevation, retains precision and finesse. This is the darkest and most deeply fruity of the three sites. Complexity, comes as floral and iodine (ocean) related perfumes rather than a more typical bacon fat, and pepper oriented profile. This fruit usually encompasses about 50% of the blend.
Stolpman Vineyard is in Ballard Canyon. It's not very far from White Hawk and the sites are not dissimilar, but the calcareous soils at Stolpman mean the fruit profile is slightly brighter and more tannic. This is usually 10% -15% of the blend.